Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding Buffet Ideas on a Budget

You’ve tied the knot! You have been pronounced man and wife…now it’s time to serve your wedding guests a great buffet meal.

Are you looking for some wedding buffet ideas on a budget? Here are a few ideas to spark your own creative juices and help you to come up with even more of your very own.

Your wedding guests won't even know that you are on a budget.

First a few tips:

1. Be frugal
2. Do not confuse frugal with stingy
3. Create flair in your presentations
4. Do not be afraid to ask for help to make and serve these foods
5. Prepare things in advance as much as possible

Here are some tasty food ideas:

One of the most popular foods and one of the easiest to make ahead: Deviled Eggs. These can be jazzed up with flavors and tidbits to make them every bit as tasty as they are pretty. They can rest on beds of lettuce and they make a very pretty presentation. The bonus is that they are not pricey to prepare.

Another thing that is not only frugal, but always a hit and can be done ahead, stored in airtight containers is the ever popular stuffed celery. Using cream cheese or peanut butter adds a little something but serving it ‘naked’ will please your guests, as well.
Simple crackers arranged on a plate with tiny toppings of sliced olives, or wee slices of assorted cheeses look very appealing. Assorted crackers and/or veggie sticks surrounding bowls of hummus on a plate invite dipping. Stacks of little plates nearby will remind your guests to take a few treats and move along.

Something a little grander and somewhat showier would be tiny biscuits topped with egg salad, chicken salad, shrimp salad or thin slices of turkey. If you choose to do the tiny biscuit routine, be sure you have help to bake, slice and top these little munchies. It makes a good assembly line project but it is a good choice if you are faithful to your frugality!

Depending on the season of your wedding and weather considerations, you might consider an assortment of fresh fruits. For instance, an autumn wedding can feature as part of the reception a cinnamon flavored apple cider and slices of apple and cheddar cheese. These will not be budget busters and the bonus is that they will make an attractive presentation with little fuss.

The Italian favorite of crusty, toasted bread with a tomato/basil topping is always popular with wedding reception guests. Again, you will need to have help in keeping platters of this treat filled and ready to be partaken. It is both beautiful and cost effective.
Pita bread and dips are always popular and will not bust your budget. The pita bread can be sliced quickly with a pizza cutter and placed next to bowls of simple dip as if they were chips.

Speaking of pizza, you can wow your guests with mini pizzas made with biscuit dough and topped with all the toppings that everyone loves: cheese, mushrooms, and of course pizza sauce from someone’s legendary family recipe. Frugal is your friend, remember! And do request help in preparation and serving.

When recruiting help to prepare or serve at your reception, employ your prized creativity. Offer to trade your time or labour for their service. If your neighbour loves to cook and offers to help, take your neighbor up on the offer. If you know that your cousin’s friend has a great recipe and you know how to groom pets, offer to make a swap: recipe for pet grooming.

Asking favourite relatives and close family friends to help with the planning, preparation and presentation of the reception foods can be a warm, bonding experience. Memories will be made and intertwined with foods, family and friends during this process. These are to be forever cherished and treasured. It is the EXPERIENCE, not the EXPENSE that makes a beautiful wedding reception successful, enjoyable and memorable.

Hopefully this gives you a few Wedding Buffet Ideas on a Budget and you can compliment these with some of your own ideas!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Planning a Wedding Budget

Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and costs. If you are just getting to grips with planning your ideal wedding day, you're probably curious about the type of wedding you would like to have and how much it'll cost you. In this post we'll talk about planning a wedding budget and ways to cut down on costs.

For a wedding with a couple of bridesmaids, entertainment, and food for about 100 guests, wedding planners estimate that you'll probably spend around £5-10,000.

But many weddings have a few more guests than that and can as much as $10,000 to $20,000!

Why is there such a large range in price? The reason is that there are so many choices! Not only are there various kinds of flowers to choose from, but also the size and style of the bouquets, how labour-intensive they are, and whether you end up picking out-of-season flowers that must be ordered specially or seasonal flowers that are plentiful and not as expensive.

It's not easy to pin down a price on a wedding cake either. How many people will it serve? How detailed? Buttercream icing or rolled fondant? Do you want a fruit filling? All of these choices can result in bigger cheques being written.

With this seemingly endless desire for celebrity lifestyles, the bar has been raised and people's expectations have become a lot higher.

A good wedding can be put together for far less than the celebs shell out. If you want to, you can get married for £15,000, for £2,000, or even for less. This will depend on what your expectations are and what kind of reception you want.

The reception, usually the biggest expense, can be controlled by the time of day you choose. Which would you prefer -- a morning wedding with a brunch reception or an afternoon wedding with light finger foods? For an evening wedding, will you pick heavy hors d'oeuvres, a self serve buffet or a sit-down evening meal?

One of the most popular options is to choose heavy hors d'oeuvres, but sometimes that can be more expensive than a served meal. The reason? You're paying for more items and paying by the piece.

If you want to cut expenses on your food, the time of day you plan your reception is a big factor. The least expensive time of day is the middle of the afternoon. That isn't a time people are usually hungry, so they'll eat less, and you can get away with serving less food.

If you are planning a wedding budget and trying to find other ways to cut costs let the creativity flow and put your personality into it. Be creative in your thinking and choose one area of your wedding to really, really shine.

Keep in mind it is possible to create a stunning occasion regardless of what you can pay for. It is wise to avoid going into debt for your wedding. It's not necassary to still be paying for your wedding when you start paying the hospital bills for having your first baby!.

Whether you spend £2,000 or £20,000, you'll still be just as married.